What I Use As A Photography Backdrop and Why

What I Use As A Photography Backdrop and Why

What you use as a photography backdrop doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, excessive, or even heavy for that matter. It can be your desk, a rug on your floor, a piece of plain white or colored paper, a bed sheet, etc. The list goes on. First, use what’s around you. Personally, there are a few things that I consider when deciding what kind of background I want to have to photograph my products.

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5 Tips For Shooting Jewelry On Your Camera Phone

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5 Tips For Shooting Jewelry On Your Camera Phone

Today's post is geared for the makers and sellers out there that sell jewelry (or other small objects) and the only camera you have is a camera phone. I have strolled through many etsy stores looking at the photos and I see a common theme of poorly lit, dark and extremely yellow images. If you are guilty of this, it is doing you more harm than good, my friend. Today I want to give you 5 tips that will help you improve those camera phone photos to make selling your items brighter and more appealing. Let's get started:

TIP #1

Back it up!

Get a simple background that will best show off your jewelry. In the video, you can see that I'm using a plain white poster board that can be purchased in nearly any store. Even chain grocery stores has an isle for school supplies. You can find something like this for very cheap. You don't have to go all out either! See if you can find something similar in your house.

Remember: Your background doesn't have to be white. It all depends on what kind of items you make.

TIP #2

Vogue it out!

Use different angles to get your best shot! Walk around the item to try and find the best light and angle that best captures your product. Try vertical, or horizontal, or top down, off to the right or left, at eye level. Don't be afraid to move around and snap like crazy to get something that looks good. Most importantly, don’t forget to get in close to show details or scale.

TIP #3

Let there be (natural) light! 

Use natural light and try to stay away from artificial light whenever possible. Most artificial lights tend to have a warm or yellow hue to it, which will make your images not look true to what your product looks like in person! The key here is to get a well lit picture that shows off your jewelry in the best light. Pun intended! 

TIP #4

Do some reflection!

If you're into that sort of thing, use a reflective surface. In the video I'm just using the glass that comes with a picture frame.

Pro tip: When shooting on glass be wary of the reflections. It is very easy to capture your own reflection. You want to aim for the best angle to get a cool reflection of your product, not necessarily of yourself. It may sound silly to warn you, but it’s easy to do and makes for an awkward photo.

TIP #5

Edit, edit, edit!

Ok, you've followed all 4 steps so far and you've chosen the best ones. The last step is to edit it to make sure it looks like it will once it arrives! What you don't want to do is upload the photo as is, there is most likely always room for improvement. In the video I am using a free software that you can find online (nothing to download!) called PixlrCheck it out, it's pretty cool.

Ok! So there you have it. I hope those 5 tips will help you when shooting your jewelry. Let me know below what you like to do when shooting on your camera phone!


5 Tips On Photographing Frozen Foods

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5 Tips For Photographing Frozen Foods

*Or other time sensitive items

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to photograph one of my favorite types of clients. They are a small business, local, and make delicious desserts! So many wins. They make handmade Mexican popsicles, called Paletas, from scratch using natural and fresh ingredients. They also have a seasonal menu that can change but they keep a core group of Paletas year-round. During my visit to their downtown Chandler, AZ location, I shot 4 of their year-round Paletas. You can see some of my favorites of the ones I took below and you can visit their site by clicking here.

Today I want to give you some tips on photographing frozen foods and a simple styling technique!

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1) MOVE QUICKLY

Depending on the environment that you're in, whether you are using artificial lights or natural, you'll have to move as quickly as possible to snap the product in it's best and preferred frozen state. With this idea in mind, it's also a really good idea to have a basic plan in place before shooting. Think about your setting, where you are going to place things and what items you want to have nearby. Keep the product(s) frozen until you need them, and when it comes time for it, move quickly!

2) KEEP THEM IN THEIR ELEMENT (ON ICE)

Ice can serve several purposes during a frozen food shoot. Because I was shooting popsicles, placing them on ice brings the psychological appeal of "cooling down". There is no doubt that these desserts do really well in the summer. The visuals of a tasty frozen popsicle sitting on top of ice really drives the idea home that this will cool you off and be the perfect treat on a hot summer day.

Ice also adds an element of non distracting texture! Because it's clear and transparent, it won't be competing with the main product you are trying to shoot, but simply adds a lifestyle element to the product.

Not only will it add texture, but the bonus is that your product will keep intact a bit longer than it would without being surrounded by ice! It will allow you to shoot a bit longer and play around with different props and elements.

3) INCORPORATE INGREDIENTS

Less is always best when it comes to adding props. Try to incorporate a few ingredients of the product that you are shooting. Props should add to a photo not distract from it, so start with a few ingredients, take a few shots to see how it looks, then either add or subtract depending on how the photo looks. 

This photo below shows a lot of strawberries. I decided in this case to go with a circle of the fruit because it creates such a great contrast against the dessert itself, and the main ingredient is strawberries for this strawberries and cream Paleta!

4) KEEP IT NATURAL

Try and use natural light if you are able to. Many artificial lights can produce a lot of heat, so it's a good idea to stay away from anything that will speed up the melting process. Sometimes showing the product melting can create a beautiful photo, but you'll want the product to stay in it's preferred state for as long as possible! So if you're able, try and shoot without staged lights and just in natural light.

5) HAVE A BACK UP

In case things start to melt faster than expected, it is a good idea to have a back up of the product for "safety" purposes. In film, when shooting a scene, there may be times when it may have gone perfectly, but there's always that director that will call, "One more for safety!" to shoot it again just in case anything were to happen to the footage. It's a good idea to have a back up of the product or a prop, just in case. One more for safety!

 

I hope these tips on photographing frozen foods will help you in your next shoot! Comment below and let me know what you have planned!